A weekly podcast on the latest medical, science and telehealth news.
Monthly Archives: October 2021
Health: Why Dental Care Costs So Much In The U.S.
Americans have a tendency to avoid the dentist. More than 40% of Americans said they don’t see a dentist as often as they would like, according to a 2018 survey by the American Dental Association. Their number one reason for skipping visits is cost, even among those with dental insurance. Dental insurance policies can be confusing and difficult to use, making some Americans wonder whether dental insurance is worth investing in at all. Watch the video to find out to learn what it actually costs to go to the dentist, whether dental insurance is worth investing in and what patients and policymakers can do about it.
Video timeline: 0:00 – Introduction 1:42 – How dental insurance works 4:15 – Dental care costs 6:17 – Is dental insurance worth it? 9:49 – Solutions
DR. C’S JOURNAL: SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF NARCOLEPSY
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder with daytime drowsiness, sudden episodes of falling asleep, sometimes sudden loss of muscle control, and occasionally hallucinations.
If this sounds like the bad, overbearing, uncontrolled brother of REM sleep, that is because it is. The features of REM sleep are there; sleepiness, muscle paralysis(cataplexy) and Hallucinations(dreams). This combination of symptoms can often disrupt jobs, and can be dangerous, leading to accidents.
The cause of narcolepsy is unknown, but there is an association with decreased blood levels of the neurochemical hypocretin. The disease starts in youth, and sometimes occurs and families. The patients are often overweight, and can have sleep apnea in addition.
The Diagnosis is usually made in specialist sleep centers, which find an unusually rapid entrance into sleep, beginning in the REM stage. Normally REM sleep occurs later in the 90-minute sleep cycle.
There are a lot of different stimulants and some sleep-restoring and paralysis-reducing medications used to treat narcolepsy. This and other information may be found on the accompanying Mayo clinic article.
Brain Research: The Many Benefits Of Healthy Sleep
Covid-19 & Flu Can Spark Sepsis, Endangering Heart
DOCTORS PODCAST: MEDICAL & TELEHEALTH NEWS (OCT 25)
A weekly podcast on the latest medical, science and telehealth news.
Healthcare: Pros & Cons Of Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage is an all-in-one managed care plan, typically an HMO or PPO. Advantage plans provide the benefits of Part A and B, and most also include Part D, or prescription drug coverage. Some offer extra benefits not available through Original Medicare, such as fitness classes or vision and dental care.
If you opt for Medicare Advantage, you typically continue to pay your Part B premium as usual, but you will pay little or no additional premiums for your coverage. You generally have copays or coinsurance, but once you reach your out-of-pocket limit, the plan will pay 100 percent of your medical costs covered under Medicare for the rest of the year. The out-of-pocket limit does not apply to prescription drugs or extra benefits.
To keep premiums low, Advantage plans generally require you to get your care from a network of doctors, hospitals, and other providers, and you typically need pre-authorization for specialized care.
COVID-19: HOW BIONTECH USED ITS CANCER RESEARCH TO CREATE A VACCINE (CNBC)
Over a month and a half before the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin met with his wife, BioNTech’s co-founder and chief medical officer Özlem Türeci, and together they agreed to redirect most of the company’s resources to developing a vaccine. Up until that point, BioNTech was little-known internationally and primarily focused on developing novel cancer treatments. The founders were confident in the potential of their mRNA technology, which they knew could trigger a powerful immune response. That confidence wasn’t necessarily shared by the broader medical community. No mRNA vaccine or treatment had ever been approved before. But the couple’s timely breakthrough was actually decades in the making. CNBC spoke with Şahin and Türeci about how they, along with Pfizer, created a Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA.
This commentary concerns a video showing aspects of the development of MRNA vaccines. It is all about Pfizer’s German partner, BioNtech, which manufactures the vaccine. They have produced the bulk of the worlds mRNA vaccines, due to Pfizer‘s great financial strength and experience in marketing.
Moderna, a wholly American company and by comparison a small fry, has also been doing decades of work with mRNA platform technology, mainly on cancer treatment.
With $800 million from the U.S. government, Moderna was able to scale up their manufacturing process and deliver a vaccine, approved by the FDA, shortly after Pfizer did so.
These vaccines were made possible by two technical advances.
The first advance was in substituting pseudouridine for uridine in the mRNA, so that the target cells natural defenses would not destroy it. The second involves coating the mRNA with a nano size particle to get it into the target cell.
Each of these advances will probably receive a Nobel prize, and is an elegant example of the sophistication of modern biotechnology.
Type 1 Diabetes: How To Treat Hyperglycemia
In this video, you’ll learn the basics of how to treat a high blood glucose result with a Correction Dose of insulin, how to calculate the Correction Dose, and when not to give a Correction Dose.
Type 1 Diabetes: What Causes Hyperglycemia?
In this video, you’ll learn about what causes hyperglycemia, what symptoms to look for, and how it affects the health of people living with type 1 diabetes.
Hyperglycemia refers to an excess of glucose in the blood stream. The fact that we do not all have hyperglycemia is a tribute to the fine-tuned regulation, or homeostasis, of the normal body,
Glucose is our main source of energy especially for the brain. When we eat, our intestinal tract breaks down the complex starches and sugars we eat into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. This triggers the pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin, which allows glucose to get through the cell membrane and into our cells.
Hyperglycemia results mainly when pancreas produces insufficient insulin, or our cells exhibit insulin resistance. This can occur in diabetes, other diseases affecting the pancreas or stressful conditions which decreases insulin sensitivity.
Excess of glucose in the blood stream washes out water and salts with excessive urination, causing thirst, and drying out of the cells; the distorted vision of hyperglycemia is one such symptom thot results.
In the most common types of hyperglycemia, the cells are starved of glucose, and need to breakdown fats for energy. This produces a ketosis, or acidosis of the bloodstream, increasing the dehydration.
My wife suffered from diabetes, and had her only severe episode in Canada. She started vomiting before we discovered the high blood sugar, and couldn’t drink enough fluids by mouth. She was hospitalized in Canada and received excellent treatment with intravenous fluid and insulin.
Over the years, chronic excess of sugar attached to the protein of her cells, as manifested by excessive hemoglobin A-1 C, or glycohemoglobin, in her bloodstream. She passed away a decade ago.
A healthy lifestyle, with good sleep, diet and exercise is essential
Sugar should be considered a poison.
Regular vegetables fruits and cereal grains help avoid the excess sugar of fast foods. Exercise helps to utilize extra sugar and mitigate stress.
Please refer to the article on hyperglycemia by the Mayo clinic for a more complete discussion.